P&J Column for 28.7.14

Never mind the Tunnocks, here’s the Commonwealth Games

J Fergus Lamont – Arts critic and author of “Free at the Dee’ – Northsound Radio, A Marxist Perspective”

I was in Glasgow on Wednesday to see a radical new interpretation of Anthony Burgess’s dystopian novel ‘A Clockwork Orange’. Not a remake of Kubrick’s classic motion-picture, nor a stage version, but an experimaental, situationist, abstraction of the piece in the form of an underground railway. Simultaneously fascinatinating and disturbing, it captures the horror and chaos of being surrounded by delinquent youth more evocatively than any production I have ever seen, and I include the Singing Kettle’s harrowing ‘Fantastic Funfair’.

Later, having disembarked, I was taking an evening stroll when I stumbled upon a theatrical Tour de force at an open-air amphitheatre known as Celtic Park. You won’t have heard of it, it received little, if any, publicity, but the Commonwealth Games Opening Ceremony was a profound meditation on what it means to be Scottish. The large-scale spectacle was leant an air of intimacy by taking place in a vast, virtually empty space, which was of course a metaphor for the Highland clearances; and what invention to feature a mature lady enthusiastically getting the words wrong to a popular song – exemplifying Scotland’s favourite national pastime, drunken karaoke. But the coupe de grace was the inclusion of ‘the Dance of the Tunnocks tea-cakes’, a searing satire on the dichotomy between our projected collective joie de vivre and our national struggle with heart disease and type-2 diabetes.

I wept.

Shelley Shingles – Showbiz correspondent and Miss Fetteresso 1983

OMG! My readers might not understand how a woman with as many showbiz pals as me can get star struck, but did you see Rod Stewart last week?! Totes dreamboat, even at his age! He was strutting his stuff at Celtic Park as part of the Commonwealth Games Opening Ceremony. Some folk say his voice isn’t what it was, but can you honsetly remember a time when he didn’t sound like he was recovering from tonsilitis?

Me and Rod go way back. I first met him in 1975. We were very close at that time because he was singing with The Faces at the Capitol and I was in the front row. Now I’m not the kind to kiss and tell but Rod was clearly smitten with me, so much so that he pleaded with me to join him back at his digs! “Stay with me” he yelled, as the band played behind him.. “Stay with me”. If he said it once he must have said it a dozen times! Our paths didn’t intertwine again until 2011 when Rod played Pittodrie. Needless to say, we were just as close as we’d been 35 years before, give or take 20 feet and a line of security guys.. When that gravel-voiced crooner came near me I thought I’d chance my arm. “Do you think I’m sexy?” I asked. “Sorry love,” he said, ‘I don’t do requests”.

Wise words, from a true gent.

Cava Kenny Cordiner, the sports columist with tickets for the Ping-Pong.

I’ve been really enjoying the Olympics, though it doesn’t seem like four years since the last ones. The Scots have been on fire in the pool, which is the safest place for that, what with there being all that water there to put it out. Though, I was right confused When I heard that our own Hannah Miley had swept to gold. I was sure the curling season was finished. Apparently Hannah’s dad, got caught in the queue and nearly missed her proudest moment. I could totally emphasise with that, the same thing happened to me when I went to watch my loon Zander play in Champion Street: by the time I got back from the bogs, we was 2 minutes into the game, and he’d already got his jotters for halfing the other team’s best player.

I loved how Ross Murdoch couldn’t believe he’d won gold in the breaststroke. The last time I seen a look of total disbelief like that was when I watched ‘the Crying Game’ with Dunter Duncan. Then Dan Wallace come through and won the 400m individual Melody. He’s some boy, Dan. Teeth like a shark and he cuts through the water like one as well. Mind you, he didn’t half give the water a splash at the end. Gold Medal or not, carrying on like yon would have got him the bum’s rush from the Bon Accord Baths.

Meanwhile, in proper sport, I’ve been well impressed by the Dons’ fermentable progress in the Europa League qualifiers. After dispatching the Latvians they was paired with Groningen from Holland. I must admit old Kenny thought that he heard the writing on the wall when the first leg finished 0-0. But below and behold, in the return fissure, McInnes’s men go 2 up early doors. The Neverlanders did get one back but the Dandies was always on crude control. Their reward is a home and away affair against Spanish superstars Real Sociopath. I don’t know much about them, but I certainly hope there won’t be no Flamingo dancing on the streets of Real next Thursday!